22 , December 2017

Cabinet approves Establishing India’s First National Rail and Transportation University at Vadodara

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Ministry of Railways’ transformative initiative to set up the first ever National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) in Vadodara to skill its human resources and build capability.
  • This innovative idea, inspired by the Prime Minister, will be a catalyst for transformation of rail and transport sector towards New India.
  • A not-for-profit Company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 will be created by the Ministry of Railways which shall be the Managing Company of the proposed university.
  • This university will set Indian Railways on the path of modernisation and help India become a global leader in transport sector by enhancing productivity and promoting ‘Make in India’.
  • It will create a resource pool of skilled manpower and leverage state-of-the-art technology to provide better safety, speed and service in Indian Railways.
  • It will support ‘Startup India’ and ‘Skill India’ by channeling technology and delivering knowhow, and foster entrepreneurship, generating large scale employment opportunities.
  • This will lead to transformation of railway and transportation sector and enable faster movement of people and goods. Through global partnerships and accessing cutting edge technologies, India will emerge as a global centre of expertise.

Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India (SRISTI)

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has proposed SRISTI — Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India – scheme to incentivise the installation of rooftop solar projects in India.
  • The concept, once approved, shall serve as the basis of revised scheme of MNRE for solar rooftop in Phase-II
  • The scheme will integrate discoms as an implementing agency in Phase-II of the rooftop solar scheme
  • The Ministry is implementing Grid Connected Rooftop Solar (RTS) Power Programme in which subsidy/incentives are being provided for residential, institutional, social and Government sector. States/UTs have also taken conducive policy and regulatory measures for promotion of solar rooftop.
  • The proposed scheme aims to achieve a national target of solar rooftop of 40 GW till 2021-2022.
  • It is proposed that Central Financial Assistance will be provided only for installation of rooftop solar plants in residential sectors.
  • The residential users may install the plant of capacity in line with their requirement and the respective State Electricity Regulatory Commission regulation. But, the subsidy support will be limited up to 5 kWp capacity of plant.

Scheme for Capacity Building in Textiles Sector (SCBTS)

  • The scheme will have National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) compliant training courses with funding norms as per the Common Norms notified by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
  • The objectives of the scheme are to provide demand driven, placement oriented skilling programme to incentivize the efforts of the industry in creating jobs in the organized textile and related sectors; to promote skilling and skill up-gradation in the traditional sectors through respective Sectoral Divisions/organizations of Ministry of Textiles; and to provide livelihood to all sections of the society across the country.
  • The scheme will be implemented for the benefit of all sections of the society across the country including rural, remote, LWE affected, North East, J&K by imparting skills in the identified job roles. Preference will be given to various social groups, SC, ST, differently abled, minorities and other vulnerable groups.
  • Under previous scheme of skill development implemented by the Ministry of Textiles in the XII Plan period, more than 10 lakh people have been trained of which more than 70% were women. Considering that the apparel industry, a major segment to be covered under the scheme, employs majorly women (about 70%), the trend is likely to be continued in the new scheme.

Darpan Launched

  • DARPAN – “Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India” Project to improve the quality of service, add value to services and achieve “financial inclusion” of un-banked rural population.
  • The goal of the IT modernization project with an outlay of Rs. 1400 Crore is to provide a low power technology solution to each Branch Postmaster (BPM) which will enable each of approximately 1.29 Lakhs Branch Post Offices (BOs) to improve the level of services being offered to rural customers across all the states.
  • The Project shall increase the rural reach of the Department of Posts and enable BOs to increase traffic of all financial remittances, savings accounts, Rural Postal Life Insurance, and Cash Certificates; improve mail operations processes by allowing for automated booking and delivery of accountable article; increase revenue using retail post business; provide third party applications; and make disbursements for social security schemes such as MGNREGS.

National Highways Investment Promotion Cell (NHIPC)

  • The National Highways Authority of India has created a National Highways Investment Promotion Cell (NHIPC) for attracting domestic and foreign investment for highways projects.
  • The cell will focus on engaging with global institution investors, construction companies, developers and fund managers for building investor participation in road infrastructure projects.
  • The primary focus of NHIPC will be to promote foreign and domestic investment in road infrastructure.
  • The NHIPC will be working in close co-ordination with various connected Ministries and Departments of Government of India, State Governments, Apex Business Chambers like CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, and InvestIndia etc.
  • NHIPC will also work in close co-ordination with Foreign Embassies and Missions in India and Indian Embassies and Missions situated in foreign countries.

Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: India votes against US at United Nations

India voted in favour of a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly which opposed and rejected US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The 193-member body voted to support the long-standing international consensus that the status of Jerusalem – which is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians as a capital — can only be settled as an agreed final issue in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Black money: India-Swiss data sharing from Jan. 1

India signed an agreement with Switzerland that would allow automatic sharing of tax-related information from January 1 next year.A joint declaration for the implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) was signed last month between the two sides. Both countries would start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019 onwards

1.India-China border talks today
Source: The Hindu

India and China will hold the 20th round of negotiations on the border issues on Friday.

The meeting, comes four months after the forces of the two sides confronted each other at the Doklam plateau, will be headed by special representatives from both sides, National Security Advisor AjitDoval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi

Possible agenda:

  • The One Belt One Road initiative
  • China’s opposition to Indian membership at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and
  • The Indian opposition to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that might feature in the talks
  • A new issue on the ground that may also feature is the issue of the pollution of the Siang river which has contaminated the flow of the mighty Brahmaputra in Assam. Though India has raised the issue most recently during last week’s discussion with visiting foreign minister Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson has dismissed the report

2.Now, private banks face bad loans heat
Source: The Hindu

Rise of NPAs in private sector banks

Issue: Private sector banks registered a 40.8% year-on-year increase in gross non-performing assets as of September 30, 2017, according to latest data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

  • In comparison, gross NPAs at public sector banks (PSBs) rose by 17% over the corresponding period
  • Industry-wide gross NPAs increased 18.5%

Gross & Net NPA Ratio:

  • Banking sector: The gross NPA ratio of the banking sector increased to 10.2% in September, from 9.6% in March, while net NPA ratio rose to 5.7%, from 5.5%
  • Private sector banks: The total net NPA ratio of private sector banks as on September 30, at 2%, is much lower than the 5.7% for PSBs

Financial Stability Report released by the RBI said:

  • Under the baseline macro scenario, the GNPA ratio may increase to 10.8% by March 2018 and further to 11.1% by September 2018
  • The ongoing deleveraging in the heavily indebted parts of the corporate sector and muted credit growth in public sector banks pose a risk to growth. Subdued credit, which may also be a consequence of thin capital buffers of PSBs, leads to lower investments in the economy
  • Credit growth in major sectors as well as industries has witnessed a decline over the past two years
  • Silver lining: The number and cost of stalled projects reported in the second quarter of the current fiscal had declined from the first quarter
  • The positive signals of improvement – the decline in number and cost of stalled projects, the efforts to improve the quality of government expenditure, ease of doing business ranking, sovereign rating upgrade by Moody’s and the bank recapitalisation announcement are expected to provide a significant fillip to investment sentiment in the coming quarter

3.2G SCAM case details

Know what is spectrum and 2G case (2012 article from mrunal)


What is all about 2G scam and the trial court verdict?



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